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Product versions:
Crystal Reports 2008
NW BW 7.01

Designing Crystal Reports off BW for optimized performance

Table of contents

Life Cycle Management of Crystal Reports off BW

In this artcile you will find how BW medatada is matched to Crystal Reports elements.

BW Metadata in Crystal Reports

When connecting to a SAP BW query with Crystal Reports the underlying metadata from the SAP BW query is leveraged and matched to Crystal Reports elements.
The table below shows how SAP BW metadata is used in Crystal Reports.

BW Query element

Crystal Reports designer element

Characteristic

Separate fields for key and description per characteristic.

Hierarchy

Fields representing a parent-child relationship.

Keyfigure

Measure element in a grouping called Keyfigure.
Each Keyfigure can have up to three elements: numeric value, unit, and formatted value.

Calculated Keyfigure

Measure element in the folder Keyfigure.
(Information about the details of the calculated keyfigure is not available in Crystal Reports.)

Restricted Keyfigure

Measure element in the folder Keyfigure
(Information about the details of the restricted keyfigure is not available in Crystal Reports.)

Filter

Filters will be applied to the underlying query but are not visible in the Crystal Reports designer.

Navigational attribute

Separate fields for key and description per navigational attribute.

Display attribute

Each display attribute becomes one field in the field explorer. The display attributes are grouped together with the actual characteristic.

SAP variables

Parameters.

Hierarchies

Crystal Reports is able to leverage the hierarchies and use a parent child relationship and show the hierarchical levels from BW. When designing reports that have hierarchies you need to create hierarchical grouping to leverage BW hierarchy. Details steps on how to design reports with BW hierarchies can be found here BW Hierarchies in Crystal Reports

SAP Variables

BEx queries can contain SAP variables which turn into parameters in a Crystal Reports. Variables need to be configured with the Ready for input property to considered as a parameter in Crystal Reports. There are different options (types/processing types) for these variables. In the following tables you can find which of these options are supported in Crystal Reports.

Variable Types/processing types support

Processing Types

Characteristic variable

Text variable

Formula variable

Hierarchy variable

Hierarchy node variable

User entry /Default value

See Characteristic variable

See Entry type

See Entry type

See Entry type

See Entry type

Replacement path

Supported

Supported

Supported

Not Applicable

Not Applicable

Authorization

Supported

Not Applicable

Not Applicable

Not Applicable

Supported

Customer Exit

Supported

Not Applicable

Supported

Supported

Supported

SAP Exit

Supported

Not Applicable

Supported

Supported

Supported

Characteristic variable support

Entry Type

Single value

Multi-single value

Interval

Selection option

Mandatory

Supported

Supported

Supported

Supported

Mandatory, initial value not allowed

Supported

Supported

Supported

Supported

Optional

Supported

Supported

Supported

Supported

Entry type support for non characteristic variables

Entry Type

Text variable

Formula variable

Hierarchy variable

Mandatory

Not supported

Price, Quota and Numeric value only

Version Variable is not supported

Mandatory, initial value not allowed

Not supported

Price, Quota and Numeric value only

Version Variable is not supported

Optional

Not supported

Price, Quota and Numeric value only

Version Variable is not supported

Optional variables and Null

When a SAP variable is optional, Crystal Reports creates a parameter which is optional and the user can set it to Null (if sap variable is mandatory user does not have the option to set it to Null). When the user sets the value to Null, the MDX statement generated does not contain the SAP variable, BW will run the query using preset personalized values of the variable or the preset default values.(Personalized values override default values.) This could lead to a situation where the user sets the variable to Null, but if the variable has either a personalized or default value, then the result set will be based on one of these values and not null as specied by the user.

List of Values for variables

List of values for SAP variables are created automatically by Crystal Reports only when you use SAP Toolbar to create the report:

  • The list of values for a variable in Crystal Reports will be static, but the list will be always dymanic in InfoView as long as you use BW Publisher (save reports to BW, publish to BOE)and you logon to BOE using SAP Authentication.
  • If you edit the parameter created in Crystal Reports from the SAP variable you will see that the lov that was created automatically is set as static, this is the way it should be. The list is static in Crystal Reports but dynamic in InfoView; don't change the LOV to dynamic.

Hierarchy node variables

List of values as a hierarchy or flat list

  • When you refresh a report that contains hierarchy node variables, the list of values appears as a flat list in Crystal Reports, as hierarchy in InfoView only if you used BW Publisher to publish the report to BOE.

Hierarchy variables and hierarchy node variables

When you have a combination of a hierarchy variable and a hierarchy node variable, the list of available hierarchy nodes is retrieved only for the first hierarchy when you are in Crystal Reports. When you publish the report to BOE then the the list of all availabe hierarchy nodes and leafs is retrieved online after the hierarchy is selected.

Search in list of values of a hierarchy node variable

When you run a report in InfoView, you can select a value for a variable by browsing trough the hierarchy. Searching a values is not available.

Searching in list of values is only available for Hierachy variables and Characteristic variables, not for hierarchy node variables. If the hierarchy node variable has thousands of values, thus searching is necesary, a posible workaround is use to Characteristic Variable instead of a Hierarchy Node Variable. In this way the SAP characteristic will still contain the hierarchy information when shown in the report, but list of values will be a flat list and will offer the Search functionality.

Exit variables

Exit variables and default values

When you create an exit variable in BEx you can't define default values, however in I_STEP=1 of an exit you can define default values.Customer Exits in help guide.The default values that appear in Crystal Reports parameter window,come from default values defined in BEx. If you define default values in the exit (I_STEP=1), these default values won't appear and won't be used when running the report. A solution to this is to configure the variable in Crystal Reports to accept nulls. When null is used as value for the parameter, the default value defined in the exit will be used, the default value won't appear in the parameters window when running the report, but it will be used.

Designing Crystal Reports off BW for optimized performance

Table of contents

Life Cycle Management of Crystal Reports off BW

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  1. Guest

    Hi Martha,

     Why are hierarchy node variables only supported when Crystal Reports are published by BW Publisher ?

     Cheers,

    Steve

  2. Hi Martha,

    In our report,we need to show default value as previous month.So,I created report but I had used mandatory variable .

    And I read somewhere that we can filter default value if we 'll use optional variable as 'Set to Null' option comes along with the optional variable.So,when we 'll click it the default value gets filtered out as we have done in our report also.But I want to show default value as description i.e. previous month to be displayed to the customer otherwise they 'll get confused.

    Is there any way to get Prompt as default value to be displayed along with variable? Please suggest any solution.

    Thanks,

    Archana